Psychic Fair Charity Event

On Friday, November 23rd, 2007, several members of Sacred Circle's Board met at The Road Home to deliver the donations collected at the Psychic Fair in October 2007! We are very pleased to report that we delivered a check totaling $1032.00 and approximately 350 pounds of donated clothing! Many many thanks go to all who helped out with the Psychic Fair through the giving of time, energy, material or monetary donations. Here is a small photo tour of our time at the shelter so that you too can learn more about this important community resource.

The Road Home provides support and shelter for families and individuals overcoming homelessness. They have a wide variety of programs that provide services to people. The Road Home operates out of The Salt Lake Community Shelter, the largest homeless shelter in Utah. They begin by providing people with basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, while immediately working with them to develop a plan for housing. Their programs are designed to connect people with resources and help integrate them back into the community. (Description from their website

Our afternoon began with the arrival on the dock of our two large vehicles full of donations. We filled the yellow bins with bags full of donated clothing and other items.

While at the loading dock, we were met by Celeste Eggert, Director of Community Development and Relations. She began our tour by explaining to us that one of the most important things that the donations help provide is that when families are placed in a home, they take everything given to them at the shelter with them. So things such as blankets and other necessities are constantly a need during the winter months because they are being given out all the time. She said that when a family is placed in a home through their program, they are also given a voucher for the DI stores and then the family can go and get everything needed for their new home, such as beds, furniture, kitchen items and other things which many families who have experienced homelessness have not been able to keep or afford.

The family shelter is one of the most unique things about this organization. Families are allowed to stay together, and a lot of support is given to the parents to help them find employment while the children continue to attend school or are in childcare. There are a lot of programs for the families as a whole and for the children specifically. Each family shares one small room and there are shared kitchen, laundry and restroom facilities. They go to great lengths to help children through such things as busing programs so that the child can continue to attend the school that they are currently enrolled in, and providing continuity for the child's extracurricular programs such as sports or clubs, outings and special events. For small or preschool age children they provide full childcare and aftercare programs as well as fun times, reading or craft programs and other special events within the shelter.

There is a very nice children's playroom with lots of toys and books, and an outside enclosed courtyard with a playground and sandbox. We were very impressed with how clean and well-organized everything was. Celeste told us the the average stay was only 77 days, and that most families do not return due to the success of the programs and case management model. She stressed that they really focus on helping the families into returning to self-sufficiency and that they have assisted hundreds of families in staying off the streets and into a place of their own.

This shelter also has large dormitory-style housing for single men and women and offers many similar types of programs aimed toward assisting people into self-sufficiency. One very interesting fact that we learned was that over 90% of the people assisted through the Road Home are native Utahns. Statistics from their website state that at any given time there are 4,000 people across Utah who are homeless. 18% of these people are children. These are some very striking facts and really help to drive home the stark reality of homelessness in Utah.

Near the end of our tour, we reached the main lobby which is a large, airy and pleasant space looking out onto the central playground and courtyard. Celeste related the story of how the large stained glass panels in the lobby area were created by children living in the shelter, using designs that were drawn by the children themselves! We are very happy to have helped The Road Home through these donations and we again thank everyone who helped make it possible to make a difference in the lives of Utah families.